Healthy Video Game Habits: Tips for Parents of Teens


Do you know that there are over 1,181,019 video game options out there? As teens choose from the growing number of gaming entertainment options, the question of online and internet safety becomes inevitable. According to Salesforce, over 44% of children face unhealthy and unsafe environments and advances when gaming online.

Of course, you want to ensure your child is safe through their experiences, not to mention that they develop healthy habits when participating in gaming. Here are some vital tips to be mindful of.

Healthy Video Game Habits

Age Appropriateness

Before your child begins playing the game, you’ll need to do some research. Look up online reviews and ratings to check if the video game is age-appropriate for your teen. One way to ascertain this is to look up game ratings by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). A game rated ‘E’ will be suitable for all ages, while ‘T’ will be suitable for teens and ‘M’ for mature audiences.

Set Limits

Every parent needs to get familiar with parental controls! Parents may not understand the full extent of their teen’s activities online. Even innocent searches can result in unsafe content, and you want to protect your child from this. Thus, it is prudent to set up parental limits based on keywords and search alarms. You could also block specific websites or make access to sites or games limited for approval by parents only.

In addition, there are two essential rules we recommend every parent follow. The first is to educate them on how to chat online. Critical facts to convey here are the importance of not disclosing personal information to strangers online and what red flags to look out for. The second rule you will want to share with them is the importance of turning off webcams when carrying out any online activities.

Limit Screen Time

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours of screen-based entertainment a day. With online classes, TV time, and then gaming, it may very well be that your teen is far exceeding the healthy quota! Create a ‘media plan’ to dictate how many hours of entertainment your kid can enjoy – and how much. A digital curfew is also a good idea, as are healthy boundaries such as avoiding tech at the dinner table or during conversations.

Supportive Tech

As a parent, you only want the best for your kids. A big part of that is providing a fun gaming experience backed up by the best tech in the business. Look up PC and headset options that advance the playing experience to new heights. When hunting for the right headset, be sure to research specs like volume controls, sound quality, and sound definition within your set budget.

Play Together

Playing together is the perfect way to bond with your teen. It can be challenging to spend time together if your child would instead be engrossed in a video game (as opposed to a conversation with you). But it happens, and that’s part of the growing-up process. There are innumerable benefits of engaging in technology with children – the key among them being that it opens the doors to other interactions and conversations. You could also use this as an opportunity to learn more about their gaming habits and how they use the online space.

Individuals have been playing games for years, but the number of people playing has skyrocketed over the last couple of years. Be sure to watch your teen as they navigate the gaming world to ensure they have the best experience possible.

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About Author

Daniel Sherwin, a single dad of two, created Dadsolo.com with a goal to help equip other dads with resources regarding single parenthood. He considers raising his 10 year old daughter and 7 year old son both an adventure and a blessing.

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